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What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems and networks from cyberattacks. It covers everything from password management to computer security tools driven by machine learning. Cybersecurity makes it possible to reliably trade, chat, and browse over the internet.

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Types of cybersecurity

Cybersecurity can be broadly divided into five types, although they aren’t set in stone — cybersecurity tools can easily belong to more than one category.

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Types of cybersecurity threats

A cyberattack or cyber threat is any malicious act seeking to damage, steal, or secretly alter data. Here are the most common cyber threats.

Malware

Malware is any malicious software that takes advantage of the user. It can range from programs that flood your device with ads to keyloggers that record every stroke of your keyboard.

Ransomware

During a cyberattack, ransomware infects a device encrypting all its data. If the attack victim wants to access the data on their device again, they have to pay a ransom.

Phishing

Phishing involves a malicious actor using messages and calls, pretending to be someone else, and tricking the victim into performing an action, such as clicking a malicious link.

Social engineering

Social engineering is a set of techniques that manipulate the victim into doing something the hacker wants. It’s an umbrella term that includes phishing, vishing, catfishing, pretexting, and more.

Distributed denial of service

In DDoS attacks, a network of infected computers overwhelms their target with enormous amounts of traffic. It can slow websites to the point where it’s impossible to use or take them down for some time.

Zero-day exploits

These are unpatched security flaws. Software developers strive to find and patch these weaknesses as soon as possible. Therefore, updating software whenever a security patch comes out is essential.

Cybersecurity measures and best practices

Cybersecurity is both simple and complex. Often, staying secure includes basic cyber hygiene, such as using a strong password and two-factor authentication, not sharing sensitive information online, and being careful with email attachments. But basic cybersecurity will only get you so far if you’re a company or a supplier. To protect against cyberattacks, you’ll likely need to train your staff, implement backups, and get advanced threat detection tools.

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Cybersecurity safety tips

Here are some tips on keeping safe online:

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Nord Security’s role in cybersecurity

Nord Security is active in educating internet users about the benefits of cybersecurity and good online habits. Our products (like NordVPN) help you protect yourself against many common online threats.

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Surf online with confidence. NordVPN will cover your daily cybersecurity needs by securing internet traffic and blocking dangerous websites, ads, and malware.

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VPN for business

Businesses have specific cybersecurity requirements — that’s why they need a specialized VPN. Enable remote teams and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.

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Password manager

Passwords are key to your digital security. Generate and autofill unique passwords, identify vulnerable credentials, and check if your passwords have been leaked.

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Secure cloud storage

Keep your files backed up, synced, and protected from snoopers, loss, or malware in NordLocker’s secure cloud. Nobody will see, touch, or sell them.

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Frequently asked questions